Skip to main content

Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

See other formats


household occupations he acquires a considerable amount of
knowledge, and gets habits of industry, order, and regard for the
rights and ideas of others, and the fundamental habit of subor-
dinating his activities to the general interest of the household.
Now, says Dewey, if we organize and generalize all this, we have
the, 14^1 59^001. The school, in fact, should be an enlarged
family, in which the discipline the* child receives more or less
accidentally at home is continued in a more perfect form, with
better equipment and more scientific guidance. It should not
be a section of life all by itself, cut off from the rest of the child's
experience. If the school were all that it ought to be the child
would have the same attitude and point of view in it as in the home,
and he would " find the same interest in going to school, and in
there doing things worth doing for their own sake, that he finds
in the plays and occupations which keep him busy in the home
and neighbourhood life." This means that the school, like the
t home, must be a genuine' community, engaged in common
pursuits which interest the pupil and make him conscious that he
is a contributing partner on whose efforts something depends for
the success of the whole. How can it be achieved in practice ?
By following the example of the home, and centring attention
on iftajiual occupations that have obvious relation to everyday life.
Ii\ the LaSoratory School this idea was developed along three
main lines—(a) shop work with wood and, tools, (b) cooking
work, and (c) work with textiles (sewing and weaving);—and both
Soys and girls engaged in all three- An example will show the
spirit and method of the school. When the time came, about
the age of ten or eleven, for the children to find out for themselves
how mankind invented cloth, they got the raw materials—the
flax, the cotton plant, wool from the sheep's back—put into their
hands, and were made to study them with a view to producing
the various textiles. On examination of the woollen and cotton
fibres they discovered why wool was used long before cotton.
The cotton fibres are difficult to separate from the seeds, and are
only a tenth of the length of the woollen fibres ; moreover, the
woollen fibres are coarser than the cotton and adhere to each
other, and so are more easily spun* After all this had been
worked out with the aid of the teacher's questions and suggestions,
the pupils proceeded to think out how they would make cloth.
They re-invented the first frame iot carding wool—a couple of